Rubber is the most basic core polymer of an elastomeric compound. Rubber can be found naturally in the form of natural gum rubber, or rubber can be manufactured synthetically. Currently, there are over 32 synthetic rubbers known to the industry.
Since rubber generally consists of 50 to 60% of the base polymer of an elastomeric compound, the compound is commonly referred to as “rubber”. This is true for most elastomeric compounds regardless of the various fillers, accelerators, aging retardants, and vulcanizing agents that comprise their remaining components. Elastomeric compounds are used to produce reliable, leak-free seals and O-rings.
Consumers find that rubber functions differently than plastic by being more elastic and stretchy. Rubber takes on its elastic properties through the vulcanization process by cross-linking of different polymer chains. The vulcanizing process is closely monitored and controlled. Particular attention is paid to the temperature and pressure conditions. Once this process is complete, the elastomeric compound attains its elastic and physical properties needed for making good sealing material.